Rather than further hijack another thread, I thought I should start a new one and ask about others’ experience of having a member or members on 2 or more teams. This Q & A makes it legal, but I’m wondering whether the net effect is potentially positive, or whether it’s something we simply endure because enforcement is impractical. I realize that different teams will have a variety of reasons for why they would choose to have members serving multiple teams, and offer my team as only one of (probably) many scenarios.
We have typically 8 – 10 students, which has remained fairly stable over the past 3 seasons. About 3-4 are regular, committed members, and the regulars are invariably veterans. The irregular attenders have not yet made robotics their priority, but I don’t want to dismiss them because almost all of our committed veterans were once irregular rookies who got “hooked” by the excitement of competing at a tournament. As a result, we have the numbers, but not the consistency or filling of important roles for 2 separated teams. So for us the options are: 1) one unified team or 2) 2 teams with shared/crossover members. (For some other teams, clearly separated teams at a single site would be another alternative, but this is not an option for us).
Advantages of us as 2 teams (rather than 1) for us
*]By separating veteran/rookie teams, the rookies get a chance to test out their ideas. When they get help from the vets, it’s as their request, not because they’ve been pushed aside.
*]There is nothing like the experience of driving a robot on the field, and the rookies would probably not get the opportunity to drive or coach if we had only one team.
Disadvantages of 2 teams for us
*]More chaos – both teams share a computer and sometimes download the wrong program between matches. Double the matches means more scurrying to get on the field in time.
Advantages of us as 2 teams for everyone else
*]Our rookie bot tends to be very simple and to rank low – our opponents love this. Mid-level teams are comforted in knowing that they did better than someone else.
*]More revenue for tournament organizers. More teams for better seeding (especially the year there were 24 registered teams, including our 2 bots).
*]A wider of variety of robots playing on the field means more designs to see, even if some are very simple.
Disadvantages of us as 2 teams for everyone else
*]Our rookie bot tends to be simple and rank low – our alliance partners don’t like this.
*]In a crowded tournament, an extra bot lengthens the day.
*]Having crossover members opens the door for other teams to have crossover members as well, with potentially different negative impacts.
But really, with the ruling, the door is open for everyone, regardless of what we do.